BUCOR chief resigns amid reports of drug trade resurgence in prison

July 13, 2017 - 7:48 PM
Inmates at the New Bilibid Prison look out of their cell. (Reuters file)

(UPDATE 2 – 11:54 p.m.) MANILA – The head of the Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR), Benjamin delos Santos, irrevocably resigned Thursday amid allegations of the revival of the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prisons, and the stabbing death of a maximum-security inmate.

In a text message to reporters, he said. “This is my standard answer to media friends: Issue about resurgence of drug trade has made me irrelevant. My irrevocable resignation effective immediately was filed through SOJ [Secretary of Justice]. I will refrain fm further comments & take the vow of silence.”

DLS resignation letter Bucor
Datail from a page capture of the resignation letter of De Los Santos that is addressed to President Duterte.

His resignation also comes a day after random drug tests done at the NBP and other correctional facilities run by BUCOR showed 115 inmates and two BUCOR employees testing positive for methampethamine hydrochloride (shabu).

Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre had turn the heat Monday on the Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR) regarding PhP500,000 in cash that the Commission on Audit had discovered to be unaccounted.

The money was part of the proceeds from a so-called “galugad” raid that resulted in the confiscation of contraband and illegal items from inmates at National Bilibid Prisons.

According to Sec. Aguirre, he has yet to receive a report from Bucor regarding this matter, and so was asking for an explanation from Bucor.

De los Santos explained Monday that Bucor was just given a copy of the receipt submitted by the National Bureau of Investigation during the raid led by [then Justice Secretary Leila] De Lima in 2016. We have devised a control system and appraisal committee as suggested by COA. The COA report was for the 2016 period and not during my term.”